FC Cincinnati "released images and details for its proposed stadium" in the West End neighborhood, designed by Meis Architects with "local support" from design firm Elevar, according to a front-page piece by Patrick Brennan of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. The new designs show a seating capacity of between 25,000-26,500, an "increase from initial projections" and making it "one of the largest soccer-specific venues in North America." Only StubHub Center would have a "larger listed capacity -- 27,000 -- than what FC Cincinnati's proposing." The proposed stadium's capacity would be "approximately 6,000 seats fewer than Nippert Stadium," the team's current home at the Univ. of Cincinnati for the next two seasons. The new stadium features a canopy roof "designed to go around the entire stadium bowl and completely cover all seating rows." The club said that this feature will help with "keeping noise from leaving the venue." Concept designs for the proposed stadium show premium seating, including suites and club space, is "more than double current capacity at Nippert Stadium." Additional "modifications and adjustments are expected to be made" to the designs over the next few months, before "formal construction on the stadium begins" in '19 (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/10). In Cincinnati, Chris Pugh noted while most people were "impressed by the stadium design, some questioned available parking" in the West End area (CINCINNATI.com, 10/9).
With the completion of the $40M renovation of Capital One Arena, the venue's "concourses are sleeker and feature 300 new digital signs, menu boards, LED walls and monitors, as well as four new displays paying tribute to the arena's teams and history," according to Scott Allen of the WASHINGTON POST. A storage room along the 100-level concourse was "turned into a Stella Artois-branded bar with high-top tables," and the PwC Club was "redesigned and now features an additional third row of seating." Any fan with a ticket in the arena can now "enjoy the various concessions in the PwC Club," including Mediterranean-themed restaurant Olilo. All of the "old purple seats in the seating bowl were replaced with sleeker black models featuring the Capital One logo and, at last, functioning cupholders." MS&E President of Venues David Touhey said that the new seats are the "same size as the old ones." The Wizards' former practice court, which was "no longer needed" with the opening of a new facility, has been "transformed into the MGM National Harbor VIP Lounge." Fans with courtside seats to Wizards games and on-the-glass seats for Capitals games will "have access to the redesigned space, which features full-service food stations, a full bar and wait service, before the game, during halftime and between periods" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 10/9).
COOL UPGRADES: In Nashville, David Ammenheuser noted the Predators have spent more than $12M in enhancements to Bridgestone Arena, with a "majority of that cost" -- $8.5M -- dedicated to "installing new LED ribbon scoreboards inside the arena bowl and a new audio system." The cost also "includes a new control room" and 11 "point-of-view and robotic cameras installed around the arena." These changes will "allow more video to be shown on the ribbon boards." Predators Dir of Technical Operations David Graham said, "We're going to keep some things in our back pocket for the playoffs, but the show our fans will see on a nightly basis will be top notch" (TENNESSEAN.com, 10/9).
The Triple-A Int'l League Buffalo Bisons next season will play in Sahlen Field, the ballpark's "fifth sponsored name" since it opened in '88, according to a front-page piece by Stephen Watson of the BUFFALO NEWS. Team execs and officials from the Buffalo-based meat-processing company yesterday "announced the 10-year naming rights agreement" and "touted the ties between Sahlen Packing Co.’s main product and the Bisons." The club said that it "sought a naming rights partner with a deep history in the community that fits well with the team’s family-friendly atmosphere." The Bisons announced in March that Coca-Cola "would not renew its naming rights contract" that began in '08. Bisons GM Mike Buczkowski would "not say how many companies sought the new naming rights contract." But he said the team "quickly came to focus on Sahlen’s." Coca-Cola "retains the pouring rights contract for the ballpark" (BUFFALO NEWS, 10/10). Sahlen Packing also has naming rights at the soccer stadium in Cary, N.C., which is home to USL club N.C. Courage and NWSL club North Carolina FC. Sahlen pays $400,000 over five years for the rights to that soccer venue (David Broughton, THE DAILY).
In Syracuse, Chris Carlson reports Syracuse Univ. last night "received approval from the City of Syracuse Planning Commission to move forward with its planned renovation of the Carrier Dome roof." The renovation plan "calls for the roof replacement to be done" by '20, along with "new sound and lighting systems, a new scoreboard and accessibility improvements." By '22, the school "plans to add air conditioning and improvements in concession and restroom spaces." The new roof will "replace the Carrier Dome's out-of-date air-supported roof with a new 'tension membrane roof' that will be supported by a steel 'crown-truss' structure" (Syracuse POST-STANDARD, 10/10).
SHINE BRIGHT: In Boston, Marisa Ingemi writes one "noticeable change" at TD Garden for the '18-19 NHL and NBA seasons is the "brighter lights." New LED lights "were installed, and on TV the brightness can be picked up while shadowing out part of the crowd." Bruins G Tuukka Rask said, "It's kind of like Madison Square Garden after the change they made a couple years ago." Ingemi notes Rask "hasn't noticed much of a change in fielding shots" so far (BOSTON HERALD, 10/10).
RUN IT BACK: Hoffman Estates, Ill., village board members on Monday "unanimously approved" a new three-year, $1.8M naming-rights agreement with Sears to "retain the original name of the 12-year-old Sears Centre Arena" through at least Aug. 31, 2022. The annual payments of $600,000 are the "same as the previous three-year agreement," but Sears will have a "greater promotional presence inside the 11,000-seat arena through the development of an SYW (Shop Your Way) Lounge under the new agreement" (DAILYHERALD.com, 10/9).